Set up your website for Google Success
Whether you have a website already or about to create one there a few things you need to consider. You may hear of the term Google Ranking or the Google Algorithm has changed but let’s remember, getting ranked on Googles is not instant – it is not the case that you built a website and now it is on Google. It takes time for the internet to crawl information and populate so be patient – remember Rome was not build in a day!
When I design a website and my web developer streamlines the website functionality, we come at it from a two-prong strategy – Human and Digital. In other words what humans read, how they read what they like to read is the human. We like colours, easy to read fonts, pictures to explain things and give us an experience or emotional, even breaks in the content help so we can scan pages. We paint a picture for the audience.
When Google reads a website, it sees code, backlinks, keywords, meta tags – clues to what your website is about. It decides on a series of rational things that fits into its thinking – i.e. the Algorithm.
I always say how to have a great website is to give Google the information it needs (we also want to make our ideal clients happy but that is a different discussion).
So, I would like to give you some tips on how to help Google to the information it needs to find and rank you.
This is going to help Google out, Google needs code and words and links to index your website, so make it easy for Google to do this.
- Only use H1 (header tag) once per page
- Make sure the H1 tag is the page tile (this helps Google understand what the page is about)
- Name your images and add meta tag data, so it knows what the image is (it cannot do much with information like this img863.jpeg) It knows it is an image and a jpeg but that is all.
- Submit your sitemap to Google – a sitemap contains all the important pages that you want the search engine to know about
Your website’s structure is important from a crawling and indexing perspective. It allows Google crawlers to easily find your website and its pages and it can display these pages to an audience who has searched for that information.
Your site’s security is now a key Google ranking factor. Having a SSL Certification (Secure Lockets Layer) from your hosting company is a simply solution to this issue., The SSL Certification puts your website to a more secure level – HTTPS rather than HTTP – as it encrypts the data between your website and your user’s browser.
If you want help setting up your SSL Certification, let us know.
Website Loading Speed
Among 200 different Google ranking factors, another factor you should focus on is your page speeds. That’s because starting May 2021, Google will make website loading speed a part of its Core Web Vitals.
These are a set of factors that Google considers are important for user experience on your site. It will look at the speed, responsiveness, and how quickly different elements like fonts and images load.
Now the goal here isn’t to beat your competitors with milliseconds of load time. But you should pay attention to how fast a page loads for your users.
Google wants your website to load quickly and provide a great user experience for your audience.
Mobile Friendly Website
Along with speed, another thing to look at is whether your site mobile friendly.
Ever since Google has gone mobile-first in 2019, it’s key that your website is mobile responsive as Google use this a key factor for indexing and ranking as this is important to the user and how customers want to access information.
So, what are Backlinks? They are simply website links that click back to your site. They are also known as external links and inbound links.
They are an important part of Google’s ranking algorithm and it is how Google finds your website for indexing. Based on Google ranking without any backlinks hardly get any organic traffic. So, add internal and external links and try to get links to other sites that are ranked well.
Besides creating content and getting backlinks, one of the most obvious ranking factors is the use of keywords on your website.
Keywords are the search terms users use to look up things on Google. So, it’s important that your website contains the keywords your audience is searching for. That way, Google can bring up your page in its search results.
To ensure that your website is keyword optimized, here are a few tips:
- Title Tags – Include your target keyword at the start of your posts SEO title tags.
- Meta Description – Write irresistible meta descriptions and add your focus keyword so users know what your page is about and click on it.
- Image Alt Text – Since Google cannot read images, you can add your keywords in the image alt text section to tell what’s the visual about.
- Anchor Text – Google uses anchor text to find out what’s the page about, so you can use your keywords for anchor text when linking your pages.
- Use LSI Keywords – Besides your primary keywords, there are other related terms that people search for and these are called LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords. If you include these on your website, you’re helping Google figure out what’s the content
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing – Keyword optimization doesn’t mean only including your primary search term over and over again. That’s called keyword stuffing and it’s not a good SEO practice. Not only is bad practice, you may even get penalized by Google for doing this.
- Include Keywords in H2 and H3 – As with H1, I suggest you use header 2 and header 3 and adding keywords to those titles. They should be used in the right order as you move down the website page. This can help with SEO results.
- Add Keyword in URL – Another keyword optimization practice is to include your keyword in the URL of your post. This works well when creating a blog, so consider the title of the blog carefully.
The last Google ranking factor I would like to share with you is user experience of your website. There are a lot of things that contribute towards good user experience.
But how does Google measure this? It uses an artificial intelligence program called RankBrain, which incorporates other ranking signals like:
- CTR (click-through-rate) – This is the process of clicking through the call to action (CTA) to the desired action. It is calculated as a percentage of users that click on your website link in the search results.
- Bounce Rate – This is the speed people leave your website. Having a high bounce rate isn’t good for your site. If a high number of people click on your site and they are leaving without interacting on your website, and consequently Google will think the page is not relevant and won’t rank it.
- Dwell Time – This is how long a visitor stays on a website after coming from Google Search Results (SERP). The longer they stay, the better it is.
User experience is the human side of SEO and this is where high quality relevant content comes into play. Make your site represent you and talk to your audience. Do not forget, it takes time to get your website right and your messaging complete and SEO takes time but can and should always be improved upon.
It you need help with setting up a website that works for Google, then give me a shout.